Solar service provider SunEdison and real estate company Developers Diversified Realty Corp launched a solar rooftop program yesterday that could yield up to 259 megawatts of solar generating capacity at U.S. shopping malls. Under an agreement announced yesterday, SunEdison will rent space to deploy photovoltaic systems at more than 200 of the 720 retail properties owned and managed by DDR, starting in California, Colorado, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. The company will then sell energy generated by the systems to DDR and its tenants.
This week’s announcement comes on the heels of a major blow dealt by regulators to Duke Energy and its North Carolina solar rooftop program, which could put utility ownership of distributed-generation solar systems on ice. That could be a boon for SunEdison, as utility contracts could be even more valuable than the malls of America. Of course, we can debate the pros and cons of distributed rooftop solar vs. massive desert solar thermal plants, but that’s another post.